The word "trust" means a lot of things, but in the context of commerce, a trust is a large entity (usually a corporation), a combination of such interests, or any other deal among businesses or organizations meant to restrict competition. Both federal and state antitrust laws seek to prevent monopolies and other arrangements that restrict trade by unfairly squashing the competition. Generally, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) tends to monitor and regulate publicly traded corporations and businesses that span state boundaries. But state courts primarily handle antitrust cases that are contained within state boundaries.
Rhode Island Antitrust Law at a Glance
Rhode Island antitrust law is similar to antitrust statutes in other states in that it focuses on the prevention of monopolies and conspiracies to restrain trade. Violators face the possibility of criminal penalties, including prison, in addition to civil lawsuits. Additional details of Rhode Island's antitrust law are listed in the following chart.
|Antitrust Code Section||Rhode Island Antitrust Act: 6-36-1, et seq.|
|Criminal Penalties||Companies, certain officers, and associates may be charged with a felony, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000,000 if a corporation, or, if a natural person, by not more than three (3) years imprisonment or by a fine of not more than $100,000, or both imprisonment and fine, in the discretion of the court.|
|Is a Private Lawsuit Possible?||Yes, but private party plaintiff must notify attorney general of his complaint and file proof of service|
|Time Limit to Bring Claim||4 yrs.|
|Can a Successful Plaintiff Recover Attorneys' Fees?||Yes; treble damages, reasonable costs and attorney's fees|
Note: State laws are always subject to change through a variety of ways, most often the enactment of newly signed legislation. You may want to contact a Rhode Island consumer protection attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Rhode Island Antitrust Laws: Related Resources
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